Mayor Gallego Announces New Initiative to Transform Phoenix Into a More Inclusive, Sustainable Smart City

Thunderbird School of Global Management

Thunderbird School of Global Management is spearheading a new initiative with the City of Phoenix and Mayor Kate Gallego aimed at making the Valley of the Sun a global business player and an inclusive, sustainable smart city.

Mayor Gallego announced this exciting initiative at today’s state of the city speech. She asked Thunderbird’s Dean and Director General, Dr. Sanjeev Khagram, to coordinate the effort with partner organizations and individuals, which include Global Chamber Phoenix, Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations, AZ District Export Council, Phoenix Sister Cities and many others. The stakeholders will launch PGR in January 2021.


Phoenix Global Rising (PGR) will be a transformative multi-stakeholder initiative committed to making the city a cosmopolitan innovation and inclusion vanguard for the 21st century. It will support the inspirational leadership of Mayor Kate Gallego and focus on five major collaborative action projects with leading global organizations based across the private, public and nonprofit sectors:

  • Strengthening the Global Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
  • Fostering International Trade and Investment
  • Achieving the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals
  • Promoting the Full Inclusion of Immigrants and Refugees
  •  Advancing Urban Innovation and a Smart Community with Sister Cities Worldwide 

Thunderbird School of Global Management will be completing the most digitally advanced headquarters of a global leadership and management professional school in the world in downtown Phoenix in July 2021, supported by a major financial investment from the city government. Over 75 years, Thunderbird has developed a global brand, global programs and a global network of more than 46,000 distinguished alumni in 140 countries as well as 170 alumni chapters and 14 (soon to be 25) regional centers of excellence worldwide.  The headquarters will be a central convening place for organizations in the greater Phoenix region that are active globally – indeed a global community suite will be located on the ground floor.

Thunderbird will partner with the Mayor’s Office and Executive Team to coordinate PGR. The focus will be to catalyze and support greater collaboration and synergies among the numerous and growing number of organizations across sectors located in Phoenix and the region such as the Global Chamber, Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations, District Export Council, Phoenix Sister Cities and many others. Thunderbird will host periodic meetings of the entire global community in Phoenix and support the working groups associated with the five action projects listed above. Additional or different priority areas may be determined by the PGR network once it is assembled and aligned with the Mayor’s strategic priorities. Phoenix Global Rising will launch in January with the first meeting of its founding participants.

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